Echoes From The Past
By JUDY MAUPIN
*- Echoes From the Past
(A Column of historical and genealogical anecdotes, stories and family notes.)
Calloway County, Ky.
The Hensons - Continued
As I promised last week, I will continue the family history of John A. Henson, as given to me by Mr. Roffle Kelley.
"My great grandfather's name was
Bartlet James Henson. He had four boys: John, Jess, Henry and Phillip. One girl was named Nancy. My grandfather told me all about our peopie when I was 10 or 12 years old. They had at one time a Dutch Bible brought here from England. No one could read a word in it except my great grandma. No one knows what went with it.
"I remember what he told me to
this day. James Stewart settled on Wades' Creek one mile north of Wadesboro in 1819. Banister Wade settled at Wadesboro in 1819 and the town took its name from him. Benton, the county seat of Marshall County, was incorporated Jan. 11, 1845. The land for the town site was given by Francis Clayton and John Beardin, 30 acres by the former and 50 by the latter.
"The first house erected after the location of the county seat was a hotel by J. J. Everts. The Averits were the first family to locate in Benton. They had a baby to born in Benton; her name was Iway Averitt and her birth occurred May 14, 1843 and her death in Benton Feb. 12, 1865.
"Philander Palmer, father of Solon Palmer, "the Banker," bought 300 acres of land starting two blocks east of the courthouse at 25 cents per acre and Mr. Palmer showed me the deed. It's been 50 years ago and was signed by Isaac Shelby, Kentucky's first governor.
"The Methodist Church was organized in Benton in 1849, with 12 charter members. The Christian Church was organized in Benton in 1860 with 12 charter members. The Baptist Church was organized in Ben-ton on Oct. 4, 1860 with 10 charter members. That's all the churches there were in Benton at that time, and now, 127 years later I am writing about it.
Some change I say. I doubt if many have the time to stop and think how far we have come. Land selling now at two and three thousand dollars an acre, that same land sold to my great grandfather for 25 cents an acre. Can you thinkof it?
"The first courthouse was a log structure, sold for $26. The first jail was a log structure and erected by John Hyatt in 1843. The first clerk's office was a frame building and sold to the highest bidder for $9.12½.
"Mi grandparents were both born in 1808. Grandma died June 1894 and Grandpa died Jan. 16, 1900, both buried m Old Rough Creek Cemetery.
There was at one time an old building there. It is 1½ miles from my great grandfather's home he built in 1818. And here lam, the only one living who can trace a straight line of my ancestors back 700 years, right back to the time the left the Netherlands to this day.
"And here I am, the only one living that is a nephew of this family that came to America from England in the year 1762. And if I live, 1 will be 96 years old my next birthday. And I have had a good life. I lived for 65 years with the sweetest girl that ever lived on this earth to me. I have lived alone soon will be eight long years the 25th day of September.
"It has been rough at times, I did not think I could make it. But after all, bad as it has been, I suppose It could have been worse. When Flora was taken from me, my hopes for the future were all blasted; I had lost everything in this world that meant anything to me. We planned to live right here and have a good time together in our last days, sitting in the shade of our beautiful frees.
"My father died the day I was 14 and left me to make a living for myself, my mother and three younger brothers. I sure had a tough go of it. But there is one thing it taught me, if I had to do a thing to live, I had the nerve to do it. And I did, I have worked at almost everything in my life. And if I had it to live over I would not change a single thing, not one.
"My great grandfather was an old North Carolina Democrat. My grandfather was a States' Right Democrat, and I am too. The first governor I voted for was J.C.W. Beckham, and the last was Julian Carroll.
John A. Henson" (no date given)